Wetland Ecologies: Life in Transitional Zones
Workshop | Sarah Hermanutz, India Mansour, Fara Peluso
Art Laboratory Berlin welcomes you to our autumn series PANKE INTERVENTIONS with various events by artists and scientists related to the river Panke.
Along the Panke, the trio of artist, designer and biologist – who are all part of the art science research group DIY Hack the Panke – will introduce the participants to the changing perceptions of wetlands, from unclean and unproductive swamps to be drained, to essential ecosystems playing a vital role in biodiversity preservation and climate change mitigation. Through river-side lectures and storytelling, participants will be encouraged to share and reflect on their own personal relationships (or lack thereof) with wetlands, while physically and sensorially encountering a small, fragmented patch of wetland along the Panke. We will weave together landscape-scale and microbiological perspectives and hack art, design and DIY biology: through a participatory format the audience is called to have an immersive experience with algae and Panke water ecology. Together we will develop an algae culture collection and prototype a DIY photo-bioreactor for indoor cultivation. The transdisciplinary practice will raise questions such as how closeness to living organisms can give us economic, political and artistic contributions? Our goal is for everyone to foster a deeper relationship with the river through situating, storytelling, contextualizing, experiencing, sampling, examining, collaborating, and speculating.
Sarah Hermanutz is a Berlin-based visual artist working at the intersections of performance, technology, and ecology. Her sculptures, installations, and performance experiments are preoccupation with water, mud, wetlands, and amphibious life, while concerned with issues of neurodiversity, social cognition, awkward embodiments and human/nonhuman ecologies. She is a co-founding member of the Berlin-based art-science-technology community Lacuna Lab (since 2015), and the art-science research group DIY Hack the Panke (since 2018) with whom she creates workshops, performances, and installations engaged with Berlin’s Panke river.
India Mansour, postdoctoral scholar and lecturer at the Free University Berlin ( Institute of Biology, Plant Ecologies | Rillig Lab), researches how microbial communities shape and are shaped by their environment and their interactions. She completed her PhD in River Science in Germany and the UK, investigating soil and river microbial ecology. This, in part, involved conceptual development of the community coalescence concept: collisions of previously disparate microbial communities. Her current research focuses on communities within matter-closed, energy-open systems, known as microbial biospherics. India is a member of DIY Hack the Panke, an interdisciplinary artistic research group exploring the Panke River.
Artist designer Fara Peluso‘s long-term research focuses on potential uses for algae as an environmental regulator, source for sustainable materials, and aesthetic catalyser of biophilia. Her research and practice combine working with biotechnologists and DIY scientists with speculative and critical design to produce a myriad of innovative design and artistic solutions.